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Historic England Research Records

The Roundhouse

Hob Uid: 1346276
Location :
Greater London Authority
Camden
Grid Ref : TQ2827884317
Summary : The Roundhouse was a former goods locomotive shed which was converted into a theatre in the 1960s. It was built in 1846-47 to the designs of Robery Dockray for the London and North Western Railway with the builders being Branson and Gwyther. Circular in plan with a diameter of 48 metres, the building is constructed from yellow stock brick with a low pitched conical slate roof. The Roundhouse did not last long as an engine shed as, by the 1860s, the engines had become too long to be turned and stored there. It was leased to W & A Gilbey Ltd as a liquor store until it was converted into a theatre in 1967. It was also used as a venue for popular music performances between 1966 and 1985. In the late 1960s it was used to relocate the nightclubs Middle Earth and The UFO from the West End, (see records 1349252 and 1439208), these specialized in psychedelic music and events: during this period Pink Floyd, The Who and The Doors played there. Later from 1969-1973 the Roundhouse was also the venue for a rock music club called Implosion. Further alterations for theatrical use occured in 1985. In 1997 the building was bough by the Norman Trust who aim to make it into an arts centre for young people. After a limited competition John McAslan and Partners were chosen as the architects. Proposals include the adaptation of the undercroft into a creative centre, including performence-related training spaces for music, TV, fashion and theatre; and to remodel the main volume of the building as a flexible performance space for audiences of between 650 seated and 3,500 standing. This remodelling will include upgrading the acoustics of the building. Support facilities will be contained within a new, crescent-shaped building, lightly joined to the Roundhouse. The aim is that the Roundhouse should be a blueprint for artistic provision in the 21st century. The Trust plan to start work in Autumn 2002 and complete it two years later.
More information : CAMDEN TQ2884SW CHALK FARM ROAD (South West side). The Roundhouse (Formerly Listed as: CHALK FARM ROAD. The Round House Theatre). A Grade II* Listed Building. Formerly known as: Warehouse of W & A Gilbey Ltd CHALK FARM ROAD. Goods locomotive shed, now theatre. 1846-7. By Robert B Dockray. For the London and North Western Railway. Built by Branson & Gwyther. Converted for use as a theatre 1967 and 1985. Yellow stock brick. Low pitched conical slate roof having a central smoke louvre, now glazed, and bracketed eaves. Circular plan 48m in diameter. Buttresses with offsets mark bays each having a shallow, recessed rectangular panel. Former entrances and windows with round-arched heads. INTERIOR: roof carried on 24 cast-iron Doric columns (defining original locomotive spurs) and a framework of curved ribs. Believed to retain original flooring, turn table and fragments of early railway lines. Wooden gallery probably added by Gilbeys, late C19. HISTORICAL NOTE: the building did not last long as an engine shed; by the 1860s the engines had become too long to be turned and stored there so it was leased to W & A Gilbey Ltd as a liquor store until converted to a theatre in the 1960s. (Survey of London: Vol. XXI, Tottenham Court Road and Neighbourhood, St Pancras III: London: -1949: 114). (1)

Additional web reference. (2)

The Roundhouse was also used from 1966 to 1985 as a popular music venue. In particular in the late 1960s the Roundhouse was used to relocate the UFO and Middle Earth clubs which specialzed in Psychedelic music and events. The Who, Pink Floyd and The Doors are some of the performers that played the venue during that period. The venue at that time was in poor condition, and was unheated. from 1969, the Roundhouse was also the venue for a rock music club called Implosion. (3)








Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Camden, 11-JAN-1999
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 798-1
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : www.aue66.dial.pipex.com
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Bacon T, 1999: "London Live": Balafon Books, pp 84, 85, 90, 96, 101-102, 106-107, 138, 145.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Levy, S: "Ready Steady Go: The Smashing Rise and the Giddy Fall of Swinging London", Doubleday.
Page(s) : 305-306
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Subterranea: The Magazine of Subterranea Britannica
Source details :
Page(s) : 19-28
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 20-Sep-09

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built 1846-47
Monument End Date : 1847
Monument Start Date : 1846
Monument Type : Engine Shed
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : From 1860
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1860
Monument Type : Storehouse
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Converted in 1967
Monument End Date : 1967
Monument Start Date : 1967
Monument Type : Theatre
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Altered in 1985
Monument End Date : 1985
Monument Start Date : 1985
Monument Type : Theatre
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 476873
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 28 SE 532
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1349252
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 1439208
Relationship type : Is referred to by

Related Activities :